Computer Information SystemComputer Information System

Computer Information System BriefSuccess of any contemporary business is directly connected with the smart and efficient use of the information technologies. Appropriate hardware and software choice can be crucial to achieve success. This paper explores the business solutions of Kudler Fine Foods Company in the light of the computer system they use. It analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of Kudler??™s current computer system and technology use, including hardware and software. The opportunities of Kudler Fine Foods in terms of technology are explained along with providing suggestions to improve the ability of the company to maximize these opportunities. Finally, this paper presents the evaluation of the threats that Kudler Fine Foods may encounter given their current systems and offer the suggestions, in terms of using technology.
Modern business processes are unimaginable without computers and information technologies (IT). The integration of computers, mobile technologies, and the Internet into everyday lives has brought drastic changes to all spheres. The IT have facilitated and even revolutionary changed the ways of communication, performing business activities, and many other attendant actions. In other words, business obtained a huge number of opportunities to develop and grow; our regular lives became far more interesting and vivid. People can communicate, entertain, and socialize right from their homes. However, the regular life is not results-oriented, the situation in the business world is ultimately opposite. Such integration with computers and other related technologies demands from any business to be in the constant relevant, up-to-date state to the current level of technology. Otherwise, there will be no opportunities to be a successful, competitive player on the market.
Kudler Fine Foods (KFF) is the company that provides customers with food, drinks, etc. and it is in the same position as any other company in the world. It has to have contemporary technological base to be competitive and successful. KFF Company is rather successful at the moment but the top managers have made a decision to expand their business (University of Phoenix, 2010). At this point, they are in need of the evaluation of the company??™s current technological state, its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It has to be done to give a clear understanding of what should be done to maximize the opportunities that the company has for the further development and growth.
After the careful evaluation of the existing computer system, including software and hardware solutions, and technology use, the following conclusions was made. KFF is currently using Retail Enterprise Management System (REMS), which is scalable and modular. It is a contemporary system that includes all necessary modules, such as General Ledger module, Accounts Payable module, Point of Service (POS) module, Bank Reconciliation module, and Security module. The strengths of the KFF computer system can be described as follows: The company uses a distributed system of servers with preinstalled set of tools for the efficient management of the incoming and outgoing data; this data is shared between these servers and is available for all three stores of the company, which is advantageous in the matter of the timely management of the company??™s storages, personnel, etc.; the hardware is protected by the individual auxiliary generators to provide fail proof 24/7 access to the computer system. Also this system is well-designed and structured to provide employees and top management with necessary finance and accounting information. The minimum of data entry opportunity can be also added to the pluses of the currently used system because the human factor is less involved and then the chance of making errors is smaller (Bagranoff, Simkin, & Strand Norman, 2008).
However, this system has several weaknesses in both ideological and hardware applied solutions. The system does not have a centralized server that can be used as the centralized data storage and a backup unit. It can be helpful in case of the simultaneous failure of servers in the current system. Another disadvantage is in the old hardware and software equipment, used throughout the system. The Internet connection is supported by the 56K modem line, which is not enough for the future purposes of the system that will be expanded. The software packages, like Microsoft Office 97 and Microsoft Windows 9x Series are ideologically too old to provide necessary functionality for the personnel of the company that wants to be relevant to the current level of technology. Third, the communication between the managers is posted on the intranet without protection on confidential information. Microsoft Outlook and NetMeeting are general accepted communication method in modern business. Finally, the bubble jet printer is too expensive for printing invoices, checks, and other documents as for the dollar per sheet ratio (O??™Brien & Marakas, 2008).
According to the above mentioned strengths and weaknesses, the company??™s current capabilities to grow and expand are rather limited. The KFF company and the president, Kathy Kudler have serious plans regarding expanding services and implementation of frequent shopper program to increase revenue. Another important direction of the company??™s further activities is the achievement of the increased efficiency for the cost reduction. Current computer system with this level of technology cannot give such opportunities for the company. They are limited with the old-fashioned ideology of the system as well as by the outdated software and hardware solutions (University of Phoenix, 2010).
To maximize the opportunities by improving the existing system, one of the useful suggestions is to rebuild each system of POS and servers and create a different structure with other hardware and software. According to the plans of the top management team, KFF will offer customers new approaches in the areas of selling, cooking, and tasting food and drinks. Such events should attract new regular customer and raise an ability to satisfy existing regular clients to the new level. To do so, KFF should purchase tablet computers (iPad or similar solutions will do fine) and a powerful server with Wi-Fi hot spot support. The appropriate software should be modified and integrated into the existing REMS. POS will become mobile, employees of each store will be able to consult customers everywhere and make sales at the same time.
Another important improvement should be made with the Internet providing solutions. The hardware for the broadband Internet connection should be acquired, installed and integrated into the existing system to provide new opportunities in the advertising and promoting activities area. Thus, KFF will be able to highlight the above mentioned event online and attract new customers. Social networks can become a good source of clients; video blogs can be very helpful in this matter. Centralized server for data storage and backups should be integrated into the system to make it more reliable. For the security reasons, it should have an installed solution with the functionality of proxy server. All these improvements should facilitate further development of the KFF Company, substantially increase the clients??™ base, promote the company as a relevant, modern one that combine excellent natural ???old-school??? products with modern technological solutions at the edge of the progress (O??™Brien & Marakas, 2008).
It should be mentioned that the restructuring of the existing system and hardware/software acquisition is a rather expensive solution. The company should evaluate the current situation and make a well-weighted decision about the reasonableness of the current project??™s implementation. However, one must make a decision considering the threats and consequences that might arise in both negative and positive cases. As it was noted before, modern business world bring success to the contemporary, relevant companies only. More technically advanced companies that provide similar services could become more attractive for the clients, despite the quality of services and products that KFF currently has. This is the main threat to the positive future of the company, but this is one of the most serious threats.
The suggestions to avoid such situation are: implement the improvements to the existing system; develop new, more contemporary approaches to advertising and promoting activities, including the Internet; and develop a system of electronic personal pages or ???rooms??? for the VIP regular clients to let them manage the bonuses, given by the company. The regular customers will be definitely pleased by such attitude and will promote KKF by word-to-mouth methods. It will help the company to keep regular customers and attract new visitors to their stores.
The implementation of new, contemporary technical solutions into the enterprise management systems is an important step for any company to stay on the market. These new technologies can help to improve the efficiency of the company and promote it as a contemporary and modern player on any market. References
Bagranoff, N.A., Simkin, M.G., & Strand Norman, C. (2008). Core concepts of accounting information systems (10th ed). New York: Wiley & Sons.
O??™Brien, J.A. & Marakas, G.M. (2008). Management information systems (8th ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.
University of Phoenix. (2010). Kudler Fine Foods Internet and Intranet Information. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, Virtual Business Portal, ACC542-Accounting Information Systems course website.

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